Monday, October 20, 2008

Impact of Colin Powell endorsement of Obama

The pundits share my perspective:

The Colin Powell endorsement of Barack Obama will hurt John McCain the most with the Independents.
Let's look at what some pundits have said in an article at McClatchy Report, Washington Bureau:
"It was a devastating critique. He gave a convincing national endorsement. That's what made it so damaging," said Larry J. Sabato, the director of the University of Virginia Center for Politics.

John Avlon wrote very succinctly on Anderson Cooper's blog:
This is big - rarely do endorsements matter - but Colin Powell’s announcement that he is endorsing Barack Obama for president was a bombshell that will reverberate throughout the last 16 days of this race.
It is not the unprecedented sight of an incumbent administration’s former Secretary of State crossing party lines to endorse the opposition’s nominee. It is not just that Powell’s record of military and government service lends credibility to a candidate whose lack of executive experience and military service is a subject of doubt for many undecideds.
It is that Colin Powell has unparalleled credibility with Independent voters, and his performance on “Meet the Press” today reaffirmed why. He is thoughtful and measured, he puts patriotism and principle ahead of partisanship.

--and with some Republicans. Sadiq Green wrote in Digital Journal:
His crossover endorsement is Obama's biggest yet from a myriad of Republican political figures and it could allow even more right leaners to be comfortable supporting the Senator from Illinois.

As I noted, Powell's endorsement shores up Obama's national security and foreign policy credentials.
G. Terry Madonna said, "This is a huge endorsement, maybe the most significant endorsement he's got. . . . For undecided voters who are looking at their concerns about national security and defense, this is a plus."

The collateral impact will be greatest in swing states, or battleground or tossup states, such as Virginia, North Carolina, New Mexico, Colorado.

Susan MacManus, a political science professor at the University of South Florida in Tampa, said that Powell appeals to independents who are socially liberal, fiscally conservative and moderate on defense issues. Because they shun party labels, they are more swayed by personality, and Powell is a respected national figure. Independents make as much as 9 percent of voters in swing states.

Click your vote / prediction in the online poll at the upper right: how big will Obama's win be?

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